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Dead Simple stage production: The Bolton News

By Steven Thompson

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IF you like a thriller with plenty of twists and turns, this play, adapted from the Peter James crime novel of the same name, should be right up your (Coronation) street.

Former Corrie and Holby City actress Tina Hobley is at the centre of the labyrinthine plot, packed with the usual crime thriller staples – murder and betrayal, plus more than a nod to Edgar Allen Poe’s chilling tale Premature Burial thrown in too; if you are claustrophobic, this might be one to miss.

Hobley is excellent as Ashley, a woman with a mysterious past who is due to marry her rich property developer fiancé Michael (Jamie Lomas) in days.

The plans are ruined when a cruel stag night prank plunges her and her fiance’s best friend into a nightmare, with Det Supt Grace (Gray O’Brien – who played villain Tony in Corrie) leading a search to find Michael before it is too late.

The stage is used very well, with atmospheric direction by Ian Talbot, who cranks up the tension as the story unfolds.

Less effective, I felt, was the ‘psychic’ element of the story, which aren’t explored in much detail and seem more of a device to deliver a satisfying pay-off at the end.

However, James’ latest thriller gives audiences the chance to experience the kind of thrills they are used to on TV, ‘live’ and join in with the gasps of the person sat next to them.

A deliciously twisted night out.